The White Rocks Gravel Adventure is back and better than ever.
The 2019 inaugural event attracted 107 cyclists who lapped up the 50km course through the spectacular Waitaki countryside.
After the disappointment of cancelling last year’s event due to Covid-19, the race returns on October 24 and three new sections have been added.
Event co-ordinator Terry Hannan said it was a case of “getting what you wish for” following the requests of cyclists wanting more out of the race.
The original 50km White Rocks Gravel Adventure, starting at Slaughterhouse Rd opposite The Fort Enfield Tavern, would continue and be joined by the Calect E Bike Adventure.
A team event has also been introduced for those wanting to split the 50km race. The two-person event will involve one rider race the first part of the course, and hand over to their team member at the Ngapara Rugby Grounds, which also serves as a drink station for all riders.
All three races were designed for people to enjoy themselves, and were non-competitive.
Then comes the biggest race of all – White Rocks Plus.
White Rocks Plus is a competitive 72km race, featuring an additional loop of the course before entering Rakis Tunnel for Enfield.
Hannan said there was a demand from riders to extend the race, and it added something extra.
Having a longer race, a team event and an e-bike option provided something different for riders to achieve each year.
“The [team race] is for those who don’t feel up to doing the full 50km, but they’ve got a mate who will share and do half with them. Then next year, maybe they have a crack at doing the whole 50km and then the following year they have a go at the 72km section,” Hannan said.
The ride offered cyclists great views of the Kakanui and Waitaki Valleys, Ngapara, Windsor and Elderslie Estate.
Cyclists of all ages and abilities had signed up for the event already, including Temuka father Shane Brookland, and his son, Zach (12).
Hannan said he was happy with the support from Canterbury, Temuka and Geraldine cyclists, and there was “good local” support from North Otago riders.
“We’re about putting on events that will attract people to come from outside of the area,” he said.
It was an exciting opportunity to bring another cycle event to Waitaki. There was something for riders of all abilities, and most people would compete on mountain bikes.
“The atmosphere was terrific the first year we held it.”
White Rocks Adventure Race is supporting Parkinson’s New Zealand, and Peter Oakden, who lives with Parkinson’s, would be racing in the event.
As a result of Alert Level 2, only 100 riders could enter this year’s race so cyclists were encouraged to register quickly.
More information and registration forms can be found at: cyclingwaitaki.nz/whiterocks.